What is Zepbound? FDA approves new weight loss drug

By Leada Gore

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Zepbound, a new weight loss drug from Eli Lilly.

In its announcement, the federal agency approved the injectable medicine for use in chronic weight management in adults with obesity who have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

Tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Zepbound, is already approved under the name Mounjaro help improve blood sugar in adults with Type 2 diabetes, the FDA said.

“Obesity and overweight are serious conditions that can be associated with some of the leading causes of death such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes,” said John Sharretts, M.D., director of the Division of Diabetes, Lipid Disorders, and Obesity in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “In light of increasing rates of both obesity and overweight in the United States, today’s approval addresses an unmet medical need.”

According to the FDA, about 70% of American adults are obese or overweight and many of those people have weight-related conditions. Losing up to 10% of body weight has been shown to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease in adults with obesity or overweight.

In studies, the FDA said patients using Zepbound had an average weight loss of 23% or about 52 pounds.